Online shopping Vs Retail. Who wins?

Shopping…the word itself is like sunshine. Its therapy for most of us. for ages we have indulged in retail shopping and now we online shopping taking the lead. Shopping doesn’t necessarily has to be clothes, it can be shopping for anything. Being a full-time mom who works from home and out of an office, I rarely have time to shop. I can literally count on my fingers the number of times I must have shopped for myself instead for my child. Shopping in a sale is something I always look forward too. However, I am wary of what not to buy in a sale.

person holding black iphone 5

I somehow find shopping at the click of my fingers a tad bit easier than shopping at retail stores. Shopping with a toddler in a retail store is bound to make you pick up something, even if there is no need for it. Shopping for a toddler is never similar to the economics formula of demand and supply. You just happen to pick something always and sometimes it’s directly proportional to saving oneself from being embarrassed.  The levels of embarrassment can differ from mild screaming, whining to a child dragging himself across the floor. The worse is, your laying down on a floor with his hands and legs in the air! Soon you have passers-by immediately shoving judgmental glares across your face.

So, you see, retail shopping has two challenges until now.

Let’s really try and weigh the pros and cons of online and retail shopping. 

  • Online shopping has a market and audience for everything.
  • Online stores like AMAZON are perfect for everyone
  • Setting up online shopping is very easy.You need a domain name, get someone to develop your website and e-commerce platform. All this could still be cheaper than setting up a whole retail store.
  • Paying of salaries proves cost effective when, it involves managing salaries of people involved in an online store vs the retail store. 
  • The other costs incurred are also lesser, such as utility bills and so on.
  • Online shopping stores like ETSY help promote artisans too.

The lock down in the country is slowly easing out and people’s safety is of prime importance. This works as a positive for online shopping as people shop from the comfort of their homes.

man and woman siting on sofa chair inside room
  •  The products available online are diverse, in terms of colors, patterns, fabric and prices.
  • The retail stores have varied options but they tend to run out of sizes easily and no one will notify you when the size is available next.
  • Conversely while online shopping website you are presented with multiple choices and get notifications too.
  • While shopping online, you have an option of listing your favorite items before the sale begins which gives you leverage over retail shopping.
  • Online shopping is a great way to save time from standing in queues and roaming around mindlessly in shopping malls. It is also allowing people the comfort to shop from wherever they are and whenever they want.
photo of woman holding white and black paper bags

A few cons of online shopping as I see them

  • You always got to a store if you are looking for something specific.
  • We still need to visit retail stores if we plan on buying crockery, furniture or items that have intricate detailing.
  • Online shopping has the weighing scale already tilted towards the millennial and gen z generation and hence its not very easy to get our elders to believe in the benefits of online shopping.
  • While shopping online helps you save time, it sometimes takes away the fun and excitement of visiting a store and turning an entire shopping trip into a picnic sort of thing
  • Retail shopping helps you try an item then and there and you buy it only if it fits well and so on. Online shopping too gives you that option but it isn’t something that is yet available across all platforms. 

I recently returned a few packages that were ordered online and did not turn out to be the way I expected them to be. However, my argument is slightly tilted like the leaning tower of Pisa, in the favor of online shopping. It is a tad bit easy Vs retail shopping. Yes, I do worry about the security aspect of people delivering packages too. However I understand that major online shopping platforms have already considered that aspect and have taken subsequent measures towards it.  What do you think?


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